Frank Mantooth - Voicings

  • Review by thelonius -- 04/26/2004

    Voicings deals (as its title suggests) with chord voicings (for keyboard) and with comping. Because its information is highly concentrated it will require quite hard, close study, but I think  that it more than repays such effort. The kind of voicings it teaches are contemporary, quartal-based sounds (you won't find any  Teddy Wilson-style stuff, great as he was!).

    Official Plug:

    "A respected soloist, clinician and  writer, Mantooth has written this book for any keyboard player interested in developing better jazz chord voicing. Written more as a 'how-to' book than a textbook, Voicings will make a valuable addition to the library of any performer, arranger, teacher or jazz theorist."

    by Scot Ranney on 10/12/2004, 00:35:30 # 7942

  • This is a good book for anyone wanting to exand their range of voicings.  The main kinds of voicing covered are;

    Quartal or Fourth Voicings
    'So What' voicings (Referred to as a 'miracle voicing' in this book)
    Polychord voicings for  altered dominants
    Voicings for diminished and half-diminished chords

    This book is more than just lists of voicings.  Each type of voicing is fully explained and there are examples and exercises to do throughout.  There are also sections on tritone substitutions and 1/2 step preparation, voicings for blues, melodic voice leading and some worked examples of voicings for standard tunes.

    This book is ideal for anyone who has got a grasp of building chords by stacking thirds and now  wants to develop a hipper sound for their comping.

    The information is well presented and explained and although the book looks relatively thin, there is enough material in here to keep the developing pianist going for ages.

    If you were to  assimilate all the information in 'Voicings', you would have a powerful array of modern-sounding voicings that you can use in almost any situation.  This book doesn't cover every voicing in the world - there are other books that are more comprehensive - but it does give you at least one hip voicing option for almost every kind of chord you will come across and the information is structured and presented in a way that makes the assimilation of these voicings both logical and attainable.

    Barry.

    by Barry on 10/12/2004, 02:21:25

  • Frank is a great guy and he himself handed me this book.
    Totally changed the way I approached voicings and way to approach them through logical and comprehensable steps.
    The main thing of the book is moving from what he calls "ye old voicing" (consisting of triads) to a new, hip sound using quartals.

    Would definately recommend this book.

    by comrade c on 10/16/2004, 00:49:29

  • As I mentioned in an earlier post, Frank Mantooth died earlier this year.  I suppose it's some kind of comfort that it's possible to live on through the music.

    sid

    by sid on 10/17/2004, 12:12:42

  • Question: does this book help solve the mysteries of voicings to use on melodic lines (harmonizing melodies), alternative approaches to tonics and such, and things like that?  Or is it mostly a book on how to expand the voicings you already use?

    by Scot Ranney on 10/17/2004, 13:33:48

  • sid: i didn't hear about that but it saddens me deeply.  when I started out i had the pleasure of sitting down with him at a clinic and he showed me first hand what the book aims to teach.

    scot: it definately does.  An example si how he looks at how a certain voicing, can have alternative harmonic functions.  So for example:

    AD / GCE  
    Strong Major (Fmaj9)
    Weak Major (C13)
    Minor (A)
    Sus (D)
    Lydian (Bb).

    Greatly saddens me hearing of his passing, but I hope he is now in a better place jamming with the greats.

    by comrade c on 10/17/2004, 23:15:48

  • This is a good book for anyone wanting to exand their range of voicings.  The main kinds of voicing covered are;

    Quartal or Fourth Voicings
    'So What' voicings (Referred to as a 'miracle voicing' in this book)
    Polychord voicings for  altered dominants
    Voicings for diminished and half-diminished chords

    This book is more than just lists of voicings.  Each type of voicing is fully explained and there are examples and exercises to do throughout.  There are also sections on tritone substitutions and 1/2 step preparation, voicings for blues, melodic voice leading and some worked examples of voicings for standard tunes.

    This book is ideal for anyone who has got a grasp of building chords by stacking thirds and now  wants to develop a hipper sound for their comping.

    The information is well presented and explained and although the book looks relatively thin, there is enough material in here to keep the developing pianist going for ages.

    If you were to  assimilate all the information in 'Voicings', you would have a powerful array of modern-sounding voicings that you can use in almost any situation.  This book doesn't cover every voicing in the world - there are other books that are more comprehensive - but it does give you at least one hip voicing option for almost every kind of chord you will come across and the information is structured and presented in a way that makes the assimilation of these voicings both logical and attainable.

    Barry.

    by Barry on 10/12/2004, 02:21:25

  • Frank is a great guy and he himself handed me this book.
    Totally changed the way I approached voicings and way to approach them through logical and comprehensable steps.
    The main thing of the book is moving from what he calls "ye old voicing" (consisting of triads) to a new, hip sound using quartals.

    Would definately recommend this book.

    by comrade c on 10/16/2004, 00:49:29

  • As I mentioned in an earlier post, Frank Mantooth died earlier this year.  I suppose it's some kind of comfort that it's possible to live on through the music.

    sid

    by sid on 10/17/2004, 12:12:42

  • Question: does this book help solve the mysteries of voicings to use on melodic lines (harmonizing melodies), alternative approaches to tonics and such, and things like that?  Or is it mostly a book on how to expand the voicings you already use?

    by Scot Ranney on 10/17/2004, 13:33:48

  • sid: i didn't hear about that but it saddens me deeply.  when I started out i had the pleasure of sitting down with him at a clinic and he showed me first hand what the book aims to teach.

    scot: it definately does.  An example si how he looks at how a certain voicing, can have alternative harmonic functions.  So for example:

    AD / GCE  
    Strong Major (Fmaj9)
    Weak Major (C13)
    Minor (A)
    Sus (D)
    Lydian (Bb).

    Greatly saddens me hearing of his passing, but I hope he is now in a better place jamming with the greats.

    by comrade c on 10/17/2004, 23:15:48

  • This is a good book for anyone wanting to exand their range of voicings.  The main kinds of voicing covered are;

    Quartal or Fourth Voicings
    'So What' voicings (Referred to as a 'miracle voicing' in this book)
    Polychord voicings for  altered dominants
    Voicings for diminished and half-diminished chords

    This book is more than just lists of voicings.  Each type of voicing is fully explained and there are examples and exercises to do throughout.  There are also sections on tritone substitutions and 1/2 step preparation, voicings for blues, melodic voice leading and some worked examples of voicings for standard tunes.

    This book is ideal for anyone who has got a grasp of building chords by stacking thirds and now  wants to develop a hipper sound for their comping.

    The information is well presented and explained and although the book looks relatively thin, there is enough material in here to keep the developing pianist going for ages.

    If you were to  assimilate all the information in 'Voicings', you would have a powerful array of modern-sounding voicings that you can use in almost any situation.  This book doesn't cover every voicing in the world - there are other books that are more comprehensive - but it does give you at least one hip voicing option for almost every kind of chord you will come across and the information is structured and presented in a way that makes the assimilation of these voicings both logical and attainable.

    Barry.

    by Barry on 10/12/2004, 02:21:25

  • Frank is a great guy and he himself handed me this book.
    Totally changed the way I approached voicings and way to approach them through logical and comprehensable steps.
    The main thing of the book is moving from what he calls "ye old voicing" (consisting of triads) to a new, hip sound using quartals.

    Would definately recommend this book.

    by comrade c on 10/16/2004, 00:49:29

  • As I mentioned in an earlier post, Frank Mantooth died earlier this year.  I suppose it's some kind of comfort that it's possible to live on through the music.

    sid

    by sid on 10/17/2004, 12:12:42

  • Question: does this book help solve the mysteries of voicings to use on melodic lines (harmonizing melodies), alternative approaches to tonics and such, and things like that?  Or is it mostly a book on how to expand the voicings you already use?

    by Scot Ranney on 10/17/2004, 13:33:48

  • sid: i didn't hear about that but it saddens me deeply.  when I started out i had the pleasure of sitting down with him at a clinic and he showed me first hand what the book aims to teach.

    scot: it definately does.  An example si how he looks at how a certain voicing, can have alternative harmonic functions.  So for example:

    AD / GCE  
    Strong Major (Fmaj9)
    Weak Major (C13)
    Minor (A)
    Sus (D)
    Lydian (Bb).

    Greatly saddens me hearing of his passing, but I hope he is now in a better place jamming with the greats.

    by comrade c on 10/17/2004, 23:15:48

  • This is a good book for anyone wanting to exand their range of voicings.  The main kinds of voicing covered are;

    Quartal or Fourth Voicings
    'So What' voicings (Referred to as a 'miracle voicing' in this book)
    Polychord voicings for  altered dominants
    Voicings for diminished and half-diminished chords

    This book is more than just lists of voicings.  Each type of voicing is fully explained and there are examples and exercises to do throughout.  There are also sections on tritone substitutions and 1/2 step preparation, voicings for blues, melodic voice leading and some worked examples of voicings for standard tunes.

    This book is ideal for anyone who has got a grasp of building chords by stacking thirds and now  wants to develop a hipper sound for their comping.

    The information is well presented and explained and although the book looks relatively thin, there is enough material in here to keep the developing pianist going for ages.

    If you were to  assimilate all the information in 'Voicings', you would have a powerful array of modern-sounding voicings that you can use in almost any situation.  This book doesn't cover every voicing in the world - there are other books that are more comprehensive - but it does give you at least one hip voicing option for almost every kind of chord you will come across and the information is structured and presented in a way that makes the assimilation of these voicings both logical and attainable.

    Barry.

    by Barry on 10/12/2004, 02:21:25

  • Frank is a great guy and he himself handed me this book.
    Totally changed the way I approached voicings and way to approach them through logical and comprehensable steps.
    The main thing of the book is moving from what he calls "ye old voicing" (consisting of triads) to a new, hip sound using quartals.

    Would definately recommend this book.

    by comrade c on 10/16/2004, 00:49:29

  • As I mentioned in an earlier post, Frank Mantooth died earlier this year.  I suppose it's some kind of comfort that it's possible to live on through the music.

    sid

    by sid on 10/17/2004, 12:12:42

  • Question: does this book help solve the mysteries of voicings to use on melodic lines (harmonizing melodies), alternative approaches to tonics and such, and things like that?  Or is it mostly a book on how to expand the voicings you already use?

    by Scot Ranney on 10/17/2004, 13:33:48

  • sid: i didn't hear about that but it saddens me deeply.  when I started out i had the pleasure of sitting down with him at a clinic and he showed me first hand what the book aims to teach.

    scot: it definately does.  An example si how he looks at how a certain voicing, can have alternative harmonic functions.  So for example:

    AD / GCE  
    Strong Major (Fmaj9)
    Weak Major (C13)
    Minor (A)
    Sus (D)
    Lydian (Bb).

    Greatly saddens me hearing of his passing, but I hope he is now in a better place jamming with the greats.

    by comrade c on 10/17/2004, 23:15:48

  • I'm your average beginner/intermediate level pianist who loves jazz piano.  It's my passionate hobby and I am basically self-taught, but also play trombone and bass.  I've got a big stack of "How To" jazz piano books, including several of the famous ones listed on your site.  I've also looked at many of the online instructional sites like the great Doug McKenzie's.  After plunking and bumbling and stumbling my way along for a couple of years, I have to say that without a doubt---my vote for the BEST book I have found for the beginner/intermediate is the one by Fred Hughes.  No other book I have tried (and I've gone through a big stack) focuses on basic foundations like this one.  If you master it all, you definitely will have the tools to go on to another level.  I think Fred's approach is brilliant.  He totally avoids long-winded academic discussion of complex jazz theory, and starts right off with basic left-hand voicings.  He then builds progressively through the complete advanced spectrum of jazz chords, in every key through the cycle of fifths.  The greatest thing about his method for the beginner/intermediate is that his left-hand voicings are designed to introduce basic comping skills and chord harmony in a progressive way (with CD acompaniment)---without pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth and existential "angst"!!  All the other books like Mark Levine's, etc. are great--- but the beginner/intermediate would be be far better to start off with Fred Hughes---then explore other advanced methods. However, it's not easy---- the progressive lessons get more and more challenging, and if you can get through them all you will really have learned a lot.  If anyone finds that understanding all the different chords is often incredibly confusing and frustrating, this book is a breath of fresh air. Fred Hughes should be commended.  I honestly have NEVER seen another book with a such an intelligent, understandable, simple approach to playing EVERY chord through the cycle of fifths. Any beginner who can eventually work up to playing the basic arrangements of "Body and Soul" and "All The Things You Are" from this book will have achieved a huge amount.

    by Trombonehead on 07/26/2009, 21:53:42


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